India Co. Looks for Partner to Invest in Iran
Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilizers Ltd. (RCF), which is a public sector undertaking in India under the ministry of chemicals and fertilizers of the government of India -- said on Sunday that it is scouting for opportunities abroad, including a joint venture to set up fertilizer plant in Iran.
"We are looking for an Iranian partner to build an $800-million urea plant in Iran, which has the second largest reserves of gas in the world. The plant will have 1.27 MT of urea production capacity. The Iranian partner will be selected by SBI Capital Markets (SBICAPS)," RCF Chairman and Managing Director R. G. Rajan told reporters in Mumbai, as quoted by Standard Business.
With this project, RCF and Gujarat Narmada Valley Fertilizers and Chemicals Ltd. (GNFC) seek to tap cheaper gas offered by Iran to produce the farm nutrient and ship it to India, the report said. The project is expected to materialize after sanctions against Iran are lifted.
Iran is now in the middle of nuclear talks with the P5+1 – the US, Britain, France, China, Russia and Germany – to reach a final deal which would allow Tehran to get rid of western sanctions in exchange for it limiting some part of it nuclear energy program.
RCF is also exploring possibilities of entering into long-term offtake agreements for potash with suppliers in Canada.
Commenting on domestic projects, Rajan said the company has drawn up a capex plan, which includes investment of Rs three billion in the current year and Rs 10 billion in the next year.
"The increased demand-supply gap in the country provides for opportunity to expand our urea base at Thal in Maharashtra.
"Alternate feedstock like coal gas gives an opportunity to undertake fertilizer projects in other parts of the country closer to coal mines. RCF plans to undertake major projects like an additional ammonia urea project at Thal and a coal-based fertilizer plant at Talcher," Rajan said.
The Talchar unit in Odisha is its first diversion from natural gas-based fertilizer plants, since coal is cheaper than LNG whose availability is uncertain. If this unit succeeds, RCF plans to go for more such coal-based units closer to coal mines, he said.